The Bertelsmann foundation has recently published an eleven-page requirement catalogue for a digital Germany titled ‘Smart Country - Vernetzt. Intelligent. Digital.’ This catalogue was prepared through an online consultation process and by a commission of more than seventy experts.
The requirement catalogue features some specific demands directed at the government for better digital framework conditions, which include:
- Calls for a digitisation minister.
- More intensive cooperation with commercial organisations.
- Investment in more efficient infrastructure by extending the use of fibre-optic cables and providing faster internet access nationwide.
- More support for open-access movements and open-source software
The requirement catalogue also stresses the importance of schools and vocational schools in mediating fundamental competences to pupils. It also advocates building a broader understanding of the connectivity of a digital networked world in lessons and teaching students and pupils programming skills.
Position Paper by the Bildungsmedien e.V.: ‘Alles digital oder was?’
The Bildungsmedien e.V., an association of professional educational media providers in Germany, has welcomed this approach and has itself published a 4-page policy paper containing political demands concerning digitalisation in schools: ‘Bildung und Digitalisierung - Alles digital oder was?’ (‘Education and Digitalisation - Is Everything Digital Now?)
The recommendations made by the educational media publishers to policy makers are as follows:
- More technical end devices and adequate internet access in all German schools
- The ‘DigitalPakt#D’ programme initiated by Minister of Education Johanna Wanka (CDU) must result in definite action, for example, guaranteed funds from the 2018 federal budget onwards. The 5 million euros planned to implement the programme will also need to be continually supplemented.
- Framework conditions to be drafted for cooperation between the experts and decision-makers representing politics, schools (teachers and pupils), parents and publishers. The educational media publishers could, for example, participate in working groups providing advanced training for teachers, an evaluation of digital products and information on privacy protection and observing copyright and licensing regulations.
editorial staff (mm)